Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our last day of tram tours here at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo, Texas, is tomorrow. We are glad we spent this winter here in the Rio Grande Valley. We enjoyed giving the tours. We enjoyed getting more into birding. We saw a lot of interesting sights. We spent time with two distant relatives—Harry and Juanita. Doing genealogy has brought great new people into our lives.

It is warmer here than in Arizona, where we spent the past three winters. Our RV site at the refuge is clearly the best one available in the Valley. It is long, wide, and private because of all the trees. At night there is little artificial light so the moon and stars are clearly visible—when the sky is free of clouds. At night there is no traffic—unless it is the Border Patrol or smugglers.

We learned so much about the history and the plants that grow here in the southern tip of Texas. It has been a real learning experience. That is one of the most valuable aspects of volunteering.

I will miss hearing the pauraques calling at night and the mocking birds singing during the day. We are close to nature: at home, running, at work, in recreation. Everything we need and most of what we want is close by, yet we don’t feel we are in a city. We see lots of agriculture—crops here need lots of attention, unlike corn and wheat and hay we see in Colorado.

On the other hand, we doubt we will ever return to the Valley. The month of April is very hot and humid. And the bugs are awful—mosquitos and gnats are more abundant than the birds.

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